Gary Moore

Back on the Streets: The Rock Collection

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Irish rocker Gary Moore has always managed to exist somewhere in the netherworld of blues, pop, and hair metal. His enviable guitar chops helped him carve a career as a reliable sideman for everyone from Thin Lizzy to Rod Argent, but by the time he became immersed in the scene he'd developed a serious songwriting bug. Back on the Streets: The Rock Collection captures the heavier side of Moore through 12 cuts culled from his solo releases in the '80s. Moore's pop sensibilities become apparent on the opening track, 1985's "Out in the Fields," which features guest vocalist Phil Lynott embellishing one of Moore's most memorable melodies. What follows is an often frustratingly by-the-books tutorial on anthemic hard rock posturing. There's the obligatory "Eruption"-style intro to "Murder in the Skies" and a slick, power ballad version of the Yardbirds classic "Shapes of Things." One of his best cuts, 1987's thunderous Celtic romp "Over the Hills and Far Away" -- not the Led Zeppelin song -- has been sadly omitted, leaving room for forgettable live renditions of "Wishing Well," "Wild Frontier," and "Back on the Streets." Speaking of Led Zeppelin, the real highlight of The Rock Collection is "Led Clones," a brilliantly executed parody of mid-'80s Zeppelin wannabes Whitesnake and Kingdom Come, set to a thunderous "Kashmir" backbeat with a searing lead vocal from Ozzy Osbourne.

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